More Big Firms Shifting To High-Deductible Health Plans

The New York Times examines the movement among large employers towards high-deductible plans that shift more health care costs to workers. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal looks at how the ACA may affect job-based plans next year.

The New York Times: High-Deductible Health Plans Weigh Down More Employees
Just as employers replaced pensions with retirement savings plans, more large companies appear to be in the midst of a similar cost-sharing shift with health plans. Besides making workers responsible for more of their care, employers hope these plans will motivate employees to comparison-shop for medical services — an admirable goal but one that some say is hard to achieve. ... With high-deductible health plans, consumers pay for all their medical services — at the insurer's negotiated rate — until they meet their deductible. After that, consumers typically pay coinsurance, which is a percentage of each service — say 10 to 35 percent — until they reach the out-of-pocket maximum (Siegel Bernard, 9/1).

The Wall Street Journal: Get Ready For Health-Insurance Enrollment 
If you get health insurance through your workplace, you'll probably have a chance this fall to make important decisions about your coverage and costs. Because many corporate health plans hold their annual open-enrollment periods in October and November, many employees can expect to get a packet of benefits, or instructions for making elections online, as well as updates on changes to their plans required by the Affordable Care Act (Johnson, 8/30). 

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